In the house with nowhere to go is not the best place to be for a kid who loves to be active. I've reached out to some of the coolest moms I know for advice on how to keep our children active as we continue to crawl through this pandemic together.
Tylaina, Kansas City mother of 2
I am the mother of two very active girls and at this time I work from home. Both of my girls are school aged and attend virtual learning most of the weekday. My husband and I still have to find particular ways to keep up with their energies. My girls happen to be easily entertained because they have an interest in a variety of things. Here are a few of our favorite activities to do together while still maintaining a healthy distance from others:
About every week I have them each pick a board game for us to play as a family. Some of their favorites are Hungry Hungry Hippo, Trouble, Matching games, and Greedy Grandma. They enjoy art so I bought them both a ton of blank art canvases. They either paint freestyle or find something to paint that’s already there such as a picture from the internet or something they’ve seen outside. Nature walks is something we especially love to do because we can get fresh air. We take pictures of cool things and small animals we see along the way. My oldest enjoys riding her bike and my youngest rides her scooter. There are a few bike trails nearby our home. You can also find a nice path of your own around your own neighborhood.
My girls are animal lovers by nature. They love going to the zoo even in the winter. As a tip, the animals appear to be a lot more active when it’s chilly outside and there’s the perk of the smaller crowds. Kids audiobooks are always a fun option and the girls found out they love listening to them. Baking is a pleasure of mine and I happen to be lucky that my girls enjoy helping me in the kitchen. Some of our favorite goods to bake/ prepare are muffins, cheesecake, and brownies. We put our own twist to recipes we’ve googled or have just come up with. Music is always a good entertainment and I watch them make up their own dance routines. Then they perform them for me and their dad. Lastly, as a family we have Nintendo switch game nights! Hope this helps another parent who may be finding it difficult to find activities for their little ones.
Sia, Kansas City mother of 3
As parents we wanted to stay informed on what was going on in the world around us, so we watched the news every morning. We quickly realized the impact that it had not only our mental state, but our kids’ mental states as well. When that’s the only thing you hear all day it plants fear in your mind, so in the thick of the stay-at-home order I refrained from turning the TV on any station that mentioned coronavirus. I remained informed through my phone while even limiting that exposure to a few times a week.
During family time we as parents turned off our phones to allow us to be present and in the moment with them. We purchased or rented every new family movie that came out straight to home demand while the theaters were closed to give our children a sense of normalcy. In fact, for a family of 5, it is cheaper to do it this way because it averages out to about $4 per ticket which is typically unheard of for a new movie!
We make sure to establish a schedule to keep routine as kids thrive off of structure. We limit screen time on their iPhones & iPad to make sure that they don’t spend all day on electronics even if they aren’t going anywhere. Over the holidays we had scavenger hunts around the house, in the backyard, or around the neighborhood to keep things fun yet safe. This was a fun replacement for the typical gathering of our full family for holiday celebrations.
On weekends we allow our kids to sleep in the basement or build a fort in the living room to give them something to look forward to. We cook more meals together with the kids and bake a dessert for the week. We have family game nights to take a break from electronics. We write letters to the residents at the nursing home where my mother-in-law works to brighten up their days since they could no longer receive visits from their loved ones. And best of all, but the least fun for them, was some good Spring cleaning of clothes and shoes they could no longer fit as well as toys they no longer played with!
Through the uncertainty of this pandemic, it reminded me of how blessed I am to be a mother because no matter how much I hear “Mommy” or “Sia” while they’re home with me 24/7 it’s better than hearing nothing at all like those who live alone.
Nature Walk winter 2020